Thanksgiving pies: How to make them at home, where to buy them in Southern California

“If you just want to make a good effort and then laugh a lot and then eat whatever you get, then try making a pie!” says Evan Kleiman. Photo by Caroline Kaufmann of Carol Cooks.

Thanksgiving is soon approaching, and while the turkey gets all the attention, the pie is really the highlight of the feast. Apple, pecan, and pumpkin are all fan favorites. 

Good Food host Evan Kleiman says pie doesn’t have to be tricky to make — it just takes practice. “If you are a person who has been tinkering with sourdough, you can make a pie. … If you just want to make a good effort and then laugh a lot and then eat whatever you get, then try making a pie!”

She advises, “Take your time and make your dough on a different day than you make your whole pie. The dough can stay in the refrigerator for a day or two, it can freeze for a week, and that way you can just focus on making the dough. … Also you do not have to make your pie on Thanksgiving. I would definitely not do that. I would make it the day before. And do not refrigerate it. Pies will stay perfectly fine outside the refrigerator.”

IMG_7319.jpgEvan Kleiman says to make your pie the day before Thanksgiving, and it’s fine to keep pies outside the fridge. Photo by Caroline Kaufmann of Carol Cooks. 

Kleiman gives a walkthrough on pie making, and some recommendations on where to buy the best pies in Southern California.

Fat and Flour (@fatandflourla) - Grand Central Market
Nicole Rucker’s double crust pies have an interesting double crimping for those who love crust. Highlights include her caramel kabocha, classic apple, browned butter apple crumble, chocolate chess and key lime. 

Friends and Family (@wearefriendsandfamily) - Thai Town
Crimper extraordinaire Roxana Jullapat continues her tradition of making the classics: old school pumpkin, chocolate chess, classic apple, traditional pecan.

Valerie Confections (@valerieconfctns) - 1st and Beverly or Echo Park
One of LA’s most talented bakers, Valerie Gordon, offers apple cider, winter luxury pumpkin, apple-salted caramel, and pear-cranberry crumble.

Winston Pies (@winstonpies) - Brentwood/West Hollywood
The menu includes harvest apple, Carolina cherry, Key West lime, Southern pecan, fall pumpkin, mixed berry crumble.

Huckleberry Bakery (@huckcafe) - Santa Monica
Huckleberry Bakery offers apple crumble pie, pumpkin pie, gluten-free vegan berry crisps, and full takeout meal options.

Tsubaki (@tsubakila) - Echo Park
Order pies like their double crusted apple persimmon pie through Tock or their sister restaurant OTOTO

Chef Casey Shea (@caseyannshea) - Los Angeles
Pumpkin chiffon, chocolate bourbon pecan, cranberry corn chess pie, and more. 

Hatchet Hall (@hatchethall) - Culver City
Apple and pecan pies (8’’) and all your Thanksgiving fixings. 

Milo & Olive (@miloandolive) - Santa Monica
Their Nov. 25 bake sale includes specialty pies, cake, jam bars and more.

Red Bird (@redbirdla) - downtown LA
Pecan and apple pies are just a few highlights from Chef Kasra Ajdari. 

Röckenwagner Bakery + Market (@rockenwagnerbakery) - Mar Vista
Fresh bread, pastries and more are available everyday.

Sibling Rival (@siblingrivaldtla) - downtown LA
They specialize in deep dish pies: bourbon apple, pumpkin, cranberry crumble, chocolate butterscotch and more. 

Sweet Rose Creamery (@sweetrosecreamery) - Santa Monica
Apple, vegan pumpkin and pecan ice cream pies are now available.

Tartine Bakery (@tartinebakery) - Santa Monica/Silverlake/West Hollywood
Apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies … plus teacakes and whole loaves are available for pre-order. 

Ma'am Sir (@charlesolalia)
Maam Sir might be closed, but Chef Charles Ollalia is still baking under that name. Highlights include pumpkin butterscotch pie with creme fraiche, ube passion fruit cheesecake, cassava and coconut pie.

Sugar Bear Bakes (@sugarbearbakes)
They take hand pie orders by the dozen, including flavors like apple spiced rum and pumpkin ginger.

Bakers Kneaded (@bakerskneaded)
This was a primarily wholesale business before the pandemic. Carlos Enriquez has pivoted to selling at farmers markets and through some of his coffee shop accounts. He’s a great unsung baker. All crusts are whole grain. To order, email hello@bakerskneaded.com.

— Written by Evan Kleiman, Caleigh Wells, and Amy Ta